The best form of advertising is "word of mouth" advertising, also known as the personal referral. Bottom line, word of mouth works. Especially for creative businesses, or any businesses that are just starting out. The problem is many make a simple mistake that prevents them from realizing the power of word of mouth advertising, and that mistake is thinking of it as a passive tool of advertising when it is actually active.
Of course some referrals will fall into your lap due to your reputation, your great work, and you're amazing website designed by Level 2! But to really make money you want an enormous database of clients! The way to make that happen is to take an active approach to word of mouth marketing. Follow these 3 simple steps and you'll be one step closer to you're next successful referral:
1. It Doesn't Hurt to Ask:
Always ask your clients for referrals, especially if you are in sales. Simply ask them if they know anyone else who needs work in your field.
2. Give them an incentive:
If there's something in it for them, then they are sure to be motivated to find you work. This can be money, movie tickets, gift certificates, event tickets, or something more related to your field of work.
3. Grease the wheels:
Don't just tell the client to spread the word, assist the process by giving them extra business cards to give to their friends, flyers, postcards, or whatever else you have that will help! Whatever marketing material you carry, give it to them and ask that they pass it along! The easier it is for them to spread the word, the easier they will find you your next client.